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Mozart: Idomeneo (Teatro Real)
Eric Cutler (Idomeneo); David Portillo (Idamante); Anett Fritsch (Ilia); Eleonora Buratto (Elettra); Benjamin Hulett (Arbace); Oliver Johnston (High Priest of Neptune); Alexander Tsymbalyuk (The voice of Neptune);
Mozart’s third venture into ‘opera seria’, demolished the genre’s traditional boundaries and paved the way for lyric drama. Blending youthful earnestness with mature mastery, Mozart uses - while profoundly changing - the elements of a genre based on arias that come one after another with no real concern for dramatic progression. The importance and expressive power of the choruses, influenced by the operatic reforms of Gluck, foreshadows The Magic Flute. Idomeneo is often regarded as Mozart’s first masterpiece for the opera house.
After the fall of Troy, King Idomeneo can finally dream of returning to his homeland after a long absence, during which his son Idamante ensured the continuity of his reign and guarded Trojan prisoners, including Ilia, King Priam’s daughter. To escape from a terrible storm that is keeping him from reaching Crete, Idomeneo promises Neptune to sacrifice the first living being he encounters upon landing. Unfortunately, it is his own son who greets him in his native land. Ilia, by offering her own life in exchange for that of Idamante, whom she loves and who loves her, convinces Neptune to yield and to deliver Idomeneo from his fateful vow.
Robert Carsen’s “politically poetic staging” (Opera News), set in present-day Crete, features a first-rate cast including Eric Cutler as Idomeneo, David Portillo as Idamante, Anett Fritsch as Ilia, Eleonora Buratto as Elettra, and Benjamin Hulett as Arbace.
" ... a strong production that ends with a clear pacifist message. Conductor Ivor Bolton, Music Director of the house, is a guarantee of success, especially when it comes to Mozart. And he has proved it once again with an excellent, lively reading. The Teatro Real orchestra, as always, was outstanding, and so too was the chorus." (San Francisco Examiner)
"Carsen’s staging ... is full of ... imaginative moments. The Carsen staging makes a strong case for Idomeneo, which many believe is Mozart’s first masterpiece for the opera house. Eric Cutler sang an ardent, potent Idomeneo. [David] Portillo offered a delicately sung and played Idamante, his finely scaled, piercing lyric voice deployed with elegant command of the Mozart line. Sopranos Anett Fritsch, as Ilia, and Eleonora Buratto, as Elettra, were impeccable princesses: each merited an extended ovation for her key aria, with Buratto’s delivery of Elettra’s death monologue registering as the most powerful moment in the whole opera. The top-notch cast was completed by Benjamin Hulett as Arbace, Oliver Johnston as the High Priest and Alexander Tsymbalyuk as the booming Voice of Neptune." (Opera News)
"Conductor Ivor Bolton, Music Director of the house, is a guarantee of success, especially when it comes to Mozart. And he has proved it once again with an excellent, lively reading. The Teatro Real orchestra, as always, was outstanding, and so too was the chorus.” " (Seen and Heard International)